Molly Stophel

Molly Stophel

Long Hunter State Park between Antioch and Mt. Juliet off of Hobson Pike has a lot of water. The park boasts beautiful views of J. Percy Priest Lake from its more than 26 miles of hiking trails.

As if one lake wasn’t enough, Long Hunter also has another, smaller lake completely inside the park’s boundaries. The smaller lake, Couchville Lake, is a peaceful 110-acre sinkhole that filled up with water when the J. Percy Priest reservoir was created.

Couchville Lake has a tranquil two-mile paved walking trail that loops around the water. Plenty of shaded picnic areas and a new playground are nearby.

But perhaps one of the more unique activities at the lake is paddling.

On the weekends, when the water is at summer pool, Long Hunter State Park offers boat rentals on Couchville Lake. Available watercraft include single and double sit-on-top kayaks, aluminum canoes and small flat-bottomed fishing boats. Life jackets can be rented or brought from home and everything is cleaned thoroughly to ensure that everyone stays healthy and safe.

The park’s boat rentals offer a wonderful opportunity to first-time paddle-boaters. The small lake is completely enclosed, so there’s no danger of getting lost. Boats with motors are prohibited on Couchville Lake, so boaters can paddle at their own pace.

Personal watercraft is also welcome seven days a week on Couchville Lake.

To find out more about Long Hunter State Park’s weekend boat rentals, call the park office at 615-885-2422. Or stop by the park’s visitor center at 2910 Hobson Pike in Hermitage. The park office is open daily from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Molly Stophel is the front-desk clerk for Long Hunter State Park. She grew up walking the Couchville Lake Trail and still considers it her favorite part of the park.

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